A Framework for Reflection

You can use these questions as a way to reflect on the readings in a way that links the reflection to the pattern of the Lord’s prayer.
Questions to ask ourselves having read the passages.

  • What in these passages speaks to us of who God is, reminds us of some facet of God’s greatness or our thankfulness to God?
  • Is there something here to inspire us, challenge us or to help us to intercede and/or to work for God’s will to be more fully seen here and now on earth?
  • Are we reminded of anything that we need from God to continue as faithful followers of Christ?
  • Does what we have read highlight anything in our own lives that we need to seek God’s mercy for? Does it make us aware of anything we need to let go of or forgive?
  • Are we alerted to something that might endanger our faithfulness to God?

Night Prayer 5

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord.
and all your faithful shall bless you.
                            [Psalms 36:5 & 145:10]

              Pause to reflect on what we have seen of God over the past day.
Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
A light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

ELLC Nunc Dimittis.
Hallowed be your name Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit:
As in the beginning; so now; and forever. Amen.

                           

Hymn (suggested tune: Te Lucis)
O loving Carer, God of grace
you welcome us with smiling face,
and we may ever rest at peace
for we, to you, our cares release.

O God transform the woes of life
Bring good from ill and peace to strife.
Move greed and pride from seats of power
so justice, mercy, healing flower

And as we pause to take our sleep
bring comfort to all those who weep
and work into to the wide world’s life
the grace that ends ungodly strife.

In quietness let us recall those whose lives our lives touch and the cares of the wider world.
              A time of quiet reflection and petition.
Our help comes from the Lord
Who made heaven and earth
God keeps us, and will neither slumber or sleep
The Everliving will watch over our life.
God, be mindful of our coming and going
Now and forevermore.

Two things we ask of you, Lord; Keep falsehood and lies afar; give us neither poverty nor riches, but give us simply our daily bread.
                            [See Proverbs 30:7-9]
              … Pause to recollect our needs before God.
It is in vain that we rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for God gives sleep to those who are beloved.

Let us recognise where we have not welcomed God to be with us or where we have perpetuated unforgiveness.
              Pause to recognise wrongness in our lives today; both what we’ve caused and what we need to forgive.
Send us your Spirit
And renew the face of our lives.
Make our hearts clean, O God
And remake a right spirit within us.
Let us attend; Christ breathes upon us the peace and forgiveness of God.

Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy; let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace; and let your blessing be upon us always; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Amen

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Night Prayer 4

How abundant is your goodness that you have laid up for those who fear you,
and accomplished for those who take refuge in you,
I will meditate on all your work,
and muse on your mighty deeds.
                            [Psalm 31:19 & 72:12]

              We reflect on what we have seen of God in the past day.
Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
A light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

                            ELLC Nunc Dimittis.
Hallowed be your name Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit: As in the beginning; so now; and forever. Amen.
                           

O God of all hopefulness, we pray for the fleshing out of your dream for your world.
“No more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress.”
Your kingdom come
your will be done on earth as in heaven
“No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days,
or an old person who does not live out a lifetime.”
Your kingdom come
your will be done on earth as in heaven
“They shall not labour in vain, or bear children for calamity. “
Your kingdom come
your will be done on earth as in heaven

In peace we will lie down and sleep;
for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety
Our refuge and our stronghold, God, in whom we put our trust. deliver us from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. Cover us with your wings and make us safe under your feathers; Your faithfulness shall be our shield and buckler.

We have laboured in vain and lived dreams in disharmony to God’s.
              Pause for reflection.
Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Make our hearts clean, O God;
and renew a right spirit within us.

Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, seeking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in the faith.

Hymn (suggested tune: Te Lucis)
O God, our day draws to its close,
we rest from this life’s ebbs and flows,
we ask that when we rest this night
disturbances do not alight.

And now we trust, at our day’s end,
that you our inward peace defend
and bring us at the new day’s start
to waken well and cheered of heart.
Amen.

And so may God + Lover, Beloved and Loving, sustain us this night, always and ever.
Amen.

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Night Prayer 3

We think about all your deeds,
We meditate on the works of your hands.
You, O God, are our fortress,
the God who shows us steadfast love
                            [Psalms 143:5, 59:17]
              Time to reflect on what we have seen of God in the past day.

Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
A light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.
ELLC Nunc Dimittis.

Hallowed be your name, Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit:
As in the beginning; so now and forever. Amen.
                           

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Keep Your people, Lord, in the arms of Your embrace.
Shelter them under Your wings.
Be their light in darkness.
Be their hope in distress.
Be their calm in anxiety.
Be strength in their weakness.
Be their comfort in pain.
Be their song in the night.
Show the wonder of Your great love,
Save by Your right hand those who take refuge in You.

Be present, O merciful God,
and protect us through the hours of this night,
so that we who are wearied
by the changes and chances of this life
may rest in your eternal faithfulness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

As this day draws to a close for us, we recognise that there have been occasions when we have closed off the outworking of God’s grace and love in and through our lives.
              …
Hide your face from our sins,
and blot out all our iniquities
Restore to us the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in us a willing spirit.
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Lighten our darkness, O Lord, we pray;
and in your great mercy
defend us from all perils and dangers of this night
for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.
Amen

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Night Prayer 2

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.
Remember the wonderful works he has done,
we extol you, O God
and bless your name forever and ever
              [Psalms 105:4 & 145:1]

              Pause to reflect on what we have seen of God in the past day.
Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
A llght to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

                            ELLC Nunc Dimittis.
Hallowed be your name Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit:
As in the beginning; so now; and forever. Amen.

As we lie down to rest we lay before God the restless world.
Your lore and wisdom infuse the earth
fulfil your heavenly dreams among us.
Thwart ill-will and spiteful imaginings
Let justice, mercy and truth flourish for good.
Extend through your church a welcome to all
And entice the world to the feast of Fulfilment
Knit together Dayspring in the womb of night
Let darkness nurture new hopeful futures.
              Further concerns may be expressed …

In peace we will lie down and sleep;
for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety
O God, your unstinting providence sustains the world, our lives, our living: Take care for us, and keep us ever mindful that our common weal flows from each other’s toil and care.
Amen.
                            [Adapted from a prayer in Compline, The Book of Common Prayer, ECUSA, 1979]

The following hymn may be sung (Tune: ‘Te Lucis’ traditional for Compline)
As now our day draws to its close,
we rest from this life’s ebbs and flows,
God grant that when we rest this night
disturbances do not alight.

For falling short and wrong things done
we ask forgiveness in your Son
and we do now give up our aims
for recompense and vengeful claims

Search us O God and know our hearts, test us and know our anxious thoughts;
See if there is any offensive way in us.
              Pause to recognise our wrongs of the day…
Have mercy on us, O God, according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy blot out our transgressions.
Create in us clean hearts, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within us.
Jesus says: come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give them rest.
Thanks be to God.

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
For you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.
I commend my spirit.
Keep me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me under the shadow of your wings.

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Night Prayer 1

You have multiplied, O God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you.
We give thanks to you, O God and tell of your wondrous deeds.
we give thanks; your name is near.

              Pause to reflect on what we have seen of God in the past day.

Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
A light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

                            ELLC Nunc Dimittis.
Hallowed be your name Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit:
As in the beginning; so now; and forever. Amen.

                           

Let us pray
              … pause to recall, and perhaps to share, particular concerns before God.

(the words to the following may be sung to the tune ‘Te Lucis’ -traditional compline hymn)
O God with you we rest our cares
bring good of them in all affairs
And as the world turns on its round
may justice, peace and hope abound.

And as we pause to take our sleep
bring comfort to all those who weep
and work into to the wide world’s life
the grace that ends ungodly strife.

O God bring good news to the poor
and make your peacely rule more sure
tread underfoot all ill and woe
So right and health and goodness grow

We lie down and sleep; we wake again, for the Lord sustains us.
Save us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace.

Search me out, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my restless thoughts.
Look well whether there be any wickedness in me.
              Pause to recognise wrongness in our lives today; both what we’ve caused and what we need to forgive.
Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal:
have mercy on us.

Let us attend: God breathes forgiveness on those who confess their sins.
From the darkness of our sins we walk.

lead us in the way that is everlasting.
Let us hear of your loving-kindness in the morning,
for in you we put our trust;
show us the way we should walk in,
for we lift up our soul to you.
                            [from Psalm 143]

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Dark times of year

This form of prayer is for use at times of the year when we feel daylight is short and nighttime is long. It is most suitable for late Autumn and Winter especially in Kingdomtide and even an alternate service in Advent.

As we start, a candle or candles may be lit or carried into the worship space.

In your word, O Light of the World, we live, move and have our being.
As you have lightened our darkness in the past,we ask, Everliving God, for your awakening within:
leading us from delusion to truth, and into your righteous way.
Lead us, Source of all Being, Father and Mother to us:
From darkness to light and into your gracious will.
Lead us, Christ, our Friend and our Brother;
From death to eternal life and into your infinite joy;
Lead us, Divine Spirit, empowering Life within
for we seek your enabling touch.
                            [Based on a prayer from the Church of South India]
Reader: The true light that lightens all has come into the world,
In your light may we see light.
              Psalm[s] and reading[s].At the end of the reading[s]:
Your word O Lord, is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
Sustain us according to your promise and we shall live.
              There may be a time of quiet and/or shared reflection. A framework for reflection, using the pattern of the Lord’s prayer may be used. At the end of the refliction time, we say together

A Canticle of Salvation
The peple walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of darkness, a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation and increased its joy.
The people have rejoiced before You
as they rejoice at harvest time
For You have shattered their burdensome yoke
and the rod on their shoulders,the staff of their oppressor,
For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
He will be named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end.
He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish and sustain it with justice
and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.

                            [Excerpted from Isaiah 9.2-7]

O Lord, open our lips
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessèd are you, Sovereign God , judge of all, we give you praise and honour for the brightness of your kingdom lightens the darkness of this passing age and you show us the light of your glory in the face of Jesus Christ,
Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name
              praise and thanksgiving, silent or aloud.

You desire the Light of Christ to illumine everyone. May your light shine on all for whom we pray and chase the shadows from the situations we are concerned about.
              … We bring our concerns for people or events to God, silently or aloud.

Your will be done:
Lighten our darkness.

Into the coldness of selfishness and greed bring the warmth of your loving generosity. Your will be done:
Lighten our darkness.
In times of frustration and lack of growth or development, bring the hope of springtime and redemption. Your will be done:
Lighten our darkness.

As we seek to walk in Light, you promise to give what we need….
              … sharing of needs, silently or aloud….
Seeking first your righteousness
All things shall be added.

Jesus says, “I am the light of the world, whoever comes to me will never walk in darkness but have the light of life.”
And yet our thoughts, words or deeds have sometimes revealed darkness
              We pause to recognise what of our life needs to change in the light of God in Christ

When the shadows we have cast have hidden the light for others,
Father forgive.
We offer the light of forgiveness for the shadows others have cast on our lives.
Father forgive.
You are the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Your word is a lantern to our feet
and a light upon our paths.

Let’s call to mind all that today may bring; the anticipated and the surprising. The pleasant and the painful.
              … We reflect on the coming day…
When we are tested by temptation
strengthen us.
When our commitment to your Love is put to trial,
save us.
When evil ensnares,
free us.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
now and forever. Amen

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